The sailing expeditions in Spitsbergen will be carried out by the three-mast sailing vessel Rembrandt van Rijn. This beautiful vessel will bring you to the remotest places around Spitsbergen. Sailing northwards we visit Magdalenafjord, one of the most beautiful places on Spitsbergen, with many impressive glacier faces. During a shore visit we will view the remains of 17th century English whaling activities. We can also visit some big seabird colonies particularly noteworthy for their Little Auk.
|Tour Provider||50 Degrees North|
|Number of Days||
|27 Jul 2019||06 Aug 2019||Available||AUD $6,724|
After arriving in Longyearbyen, the ‘capital’ (actually the administrative centre) of Spitsbergen, you may wish to visit the Svalbard Museum which has an interesting collection on the history of Spitsbergen, the mining industry and polar exploration. In the evening we sail and set a course north.
Weather permitting we will go ashore at Fuglehuken where the first Western Europeans (the expedition of Willem Barents) set foot on Spitsbergen. Here, near another big bird-cliff, we can see the graves of whalers. Nearby we may be able to visit a haul-out of Harbour Seal and Walrus.
Today we will visit Ny Ålesund, the northernmost permanently inhabited village in the world, a centre for polar research and a former starting point for many North Pole expeditions (Amundsen and Nobile for example). Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Common Eider, Arctic Tern and several species of wader can be seen at close quarters. The reindeers here are smaller than their mainland relatives and do not form large herds.
In the morning we sail from Ny Ålesund to the 14th of July Glacier where we cruise in zodiacs. Not far from the glacier we see a breeding site for Brünnich’s Guillemot, Auk and Puffin. The guano of these bird colonies, the southward exposure and the sheltered situation, give rise to a relatively rich vegetation with many species of flowering plants.
Sailing northwards we visit Magdalenafjorden, one of the most beautiful places on Spitsbergen, with many impressive glacier faces. During a shore visit we will view the remains of 17th century English whaling activities. We can also visit some big seabird colonies particularly noteworthy for their Little Auk.
Today we will try to visit Ytre Norskøya, a small island which was used for many years as a lookout point for Dutch whalers. There we can still follow their tracks to the summit of the island, passing excellent bird cliffs on the way. On shore the remains of 17th century blubber ovens can be found, while Arctic Skua and Common Eider breed among the graves of 200 Dutch whalers.
Raudfjord on the north coast of Spitsbergen is a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. It is also a favourite with Ringed and Bearded Seal, has good seabird colonies, and offers good chances for spotting Polar Bear and Beluga. Jermaktangen, at the fjord’s eastern entrance, is a geography lesson in the erosion of the land by the sea.
If sea-ice conditions allow, we may land on the northern-side of Reindyrsflya, the largest tundra area of Spitsbergen. The vast undulating plain is a good grazing area for reindeer and several species of waders also breed here. The area’s lakes offer good chances of spotting Red-throated Diver and King Eider.
Today we visit the remains of Smeerenburg, the largest 17th century whaling settlement on Spitsbergen, and, if we obtain permission, Danskøya where many historical remains are to be found of the 19th century expedition by the Swedish explorer Andree, who tried to reach the North Pole in a balloon.
On our way south, we will try to make a landing on the coast of the Forlandsundet at Engelskbukta, Sarstangen or Poolepynten, where Walrus are often hauled out.
We find ourselves in Trygghamna were we will go ashore near the majestic bird cliff of Alkhornet. Arctic Fox often scavenge off fallen eggs and chicks below the cliff. Reindeer graze on the lush vegetation. In the afternoon we sail further into Isfjorden and will make a final landing at Bohemanneset with beautiful tundra vegetation. Coal mining was ongoing here in the past and a coal seam is still visible in the rock.
Our final morning, we will disembark the ship in the morning in Longyearbyen Departure by scheduled flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo.